A relationship boost offered by the coronavirus pandemic appears to be fading as New Jersey and the rest of the nation attempts to find normalcy, according to a Monmouth University Poll released Monday.

In the poll of nearly 800 adults from across the country, three-quarters of respondents believe their romantic relationship is about the same as it was before the COVID outbreak. But only 60% said they are "extremely satisfied" with their relationship. That's down from 70% recorded one year ago.

In 2021, 66% of respondents said their partner is "extremely important" to their overall happiness. In January 2022, just 54% of respondents said the same.

"The pandemic, that time together, that quarantine, isolation, actually helped couples better appreciate what they had all along. And now that we're moving away from that, we're already starting to forget, which is kind of sad," said Gary Lewandowski, professor of psychology at Monmouth University.

In the poll, 16% of respondents said their relationship has improved compared to pre-COVID days. Seven percent said it's become worse.

The poll findings suggest that some folks may want to recapture the "isolation magic" prompted by the pandemic, at least temporarily for Valentine's Day, Lewandowski said.

Compared to last year, more people say they will out to dinner or some other event to celebrate Valentine's Day, but more than anything else, 37% said their idea of a perfect Feb. 14 would be hanging at home with their partner.

More than half of the poll's respondents said they usually receive a card from their partner on Valentine's Day. Of those who get a card, 80% said their partner adds a personalized message to the pre-printed words.

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

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